LIZ CLAIBORNE NEW YORK
Then: Pioneering sportswear that had lost its oomph
Now: Brimming with pattern and color
New creative director Isaac Mizrahi gave the label a facelift this year, adding wit and playfulness, sharp tailoring, and a lot more fashion awareness. There's an obvious correlation between his designs for Liz and his own ready-to-wear line: This tartan blazer ($179), fringed scarf, and long skirt ($149), linked by a predominantly blue palette, are a version of Mizrahi's mad-for-plaid fall runway clothes. "It's Scottish Highlands meets downtown Manhattan," says art dealer Nicola Vassell, 31. Sweater, $129. Grommet belt, Hyde Collection.